| Quote #1
Obi's listlessness did not show any signs of decreasing even when the judge began to sum up. It was only when he said: "I cannot comprehend how a young man of your education and brilliant promise could have done this" that a sudden and marked change occurred. Treacherous tears came into Obi's eyes….All that stuff about education and promise and betrayal had not taken him unawares….
Obi had always been principled. He believed that his education made him less prone to corruption because he was able to advance in his career without bribery. But now, faced with his own deceit, he has to admit that his identity as a "young man" of such "brilliant promise" is forever cheapened. For more on Obi's downfall, check on his "Character Analysis."
| Quote #2
Joseph was not very happy when Obi told him the story of the interview. His opinion was that a man in need of a job could not afford to be angry.
Joseph here is telling Obi the equivalent of the English saying, "Pride goeth before a fall." Obi's hubris – his assumption that he cannot be corrupted because he is educated and understands more than the common man on the street – will be his downfall.
| Quote #3
"We have our faults, but we are not empty men who become white when they see white, and black when they see black."
The men of Umuofia begin to bestow an identity on Obi. They suggest he is his grandfather reincarnated, and that means part of his job will be to stand proud as a black man, and to stand up to the white man.